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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » Incredibles 2
Incredibles 2
Disney // PG // June 15, 2018
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 26, 2018 | E-mail the Author
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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Incredibles 2 Theatrical Review

Incredibles 2 is a (drum-roll, please) incredible (yes, pun is intended) trip back to the magic well that writer-director Brad Bird (Tomorrowland, The Iron Giant, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) started 15 years ago. The film is a jubilant blast of entertainment that will satisfy fans craving for a return to this fantastic world and these beloved characters.

We once again are reunited with the coolest superhero family in cinema: dad Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), mother Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), daughter Violet, son Dash, and baby Jack-Jack. The film picks up immediately where the first film left off and it's as though no time has passed by at all. Our favorite family of superheroes faces off against The Underminer and are tossed into an action-packed event that brings the film into focus full-speed. As the story unfolds further, we learn that superheroes are still facing serious discrimination by the media and government with it still being outlawed to be a "Super" that fights crime.

A hot-shot business man with a vision, Winston (Bob Odenkirk) believes he has a way to fix the issue of superheroes being "banned" from being super. He sees it as a publicity issue. The media sees heroes as being vigilantes (not as ordinary people trying to save the world by using incredible powers). He seeks out meeting both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl to recruit the superheroes as spokespersons for the superhero movement.

Elastigirl takes center stage with this recruitment (apparently she does just as well at saving the day as Mr. Incredible with significantly less damage done to buildings and infrastructure). Mr. Incredible finds himself sticking behind at home to raise the kids while Elastigirl heads out to save the day.

Mr. Incredible (aka Bob) finds himself in a lot of trouble with his increased parental tasks as he looks after baby Jack-Jack, daughter Violet, and son Dash. Jack-Jack apparently has a gazillion superpowers and is maybe the most gifted of the family: besides his ability to turn into a raging demon when not given a cookie he can walk through walls, burst into flames, shoot laser-beams out of his eyes, and much, much more. The walking through walls thing is especially problematic as Bob can't get him to stay put in his crib.

Meanwhile, Violet struggles with her emotions as she has a crush on a boy at school (whose memory of her gets erased by a superhero relocation leader that Bob knows). She shouts with a fury: "Boys are mean and superheroes are stupid!" Dash struggles with completing his math homework (which Bob can't easily help with as it's "new math" to him).

Elastigirl (aka Helen) finds herself in a prickly superhero pickle when another villain comes into the picture: The Screenslaver. The Screenslaver is determined to make zombies out of people (using film signals to send out dark messages into the universe). Who is the mysterious screenslaver? And can Elastigirl stop them before it's too late?

Despite all the superhero shenanigans part of the fun of Incredibles 2 is in how the film focuses just as much on the ordinary family dynamics of these characters as it focuses on the thrilling action-packed sequences. While Bird constantly finds ways to impress with visual dazzle and exciting scenes the heart of the movie is about family. This makes the movie so much more personal and deeply felt than your average superhero film.

The production aesthetics on the film are also remarkable in every sense: the animation done on the film somehow manages to top the original (which is saying something as the original still looks quite stunning to this day). The nuance of the art is superb. The level of detail and richness to the imagery makes the experience all the more magical.

Featuring a score by the great Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Wars: Rogue One, Up, Ratatouille), the film's music buzzes with energy, creativity, and most importantly: fun. This is a entertaining score that swells with emotion when the time is right and jazzes up the action scenes whenever they arise. Giacchino (my favorite composer) delivers another knockout experience that explores both the serious and fun side of the composer's musicality.

Writer-Director Brad Bird has outdone himself. Every scene feels well thought out and executed. Execution is key to a great film and Bird always delivers on this promise in spades. The film has a undeniable energy and charm that simply never lets go. The characters are brilliant and the story is exciting. The film even has some great classic references (The Outer Limits, anyone?) and some interesting social commentary. The Screenslaver subplot is an undeniable reflection back on the audience for our immersion in today's cellphones, streaming, and reliance on technology.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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